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Making a Louisville Slugger Bat

See how the world's most famous baseball bat is made.

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The first Louisville Slugger bat was made in 1884. Today, it’s the official bat of Major League Baseball.

A high-tech CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) lathe is the first step in making a Louisville Slugger bat. The lathe holds 17 pieces of timber at one time. The machine roughs out a bat in about 15 seconds. By comparison, turning a bat by hand takes about 15 minutes.

After the bats are roughed out, they are taken to a drum sander. The machine runs the bats through 3 different grades of sandpaper, from coarse to fine.

Next, a trim saw cuts the excess wood off the ends of the bat. Another sander sands down the ends after that.

Some players like to use baseball bats that have been lightened to improve swinging speed. A cupping machine with a large drill bit is used to remove one ounce from the end of the bat.

Finally, each bat is hand-dipped in paint to the player’s specifications.